According to a new survey of more than 6,600 senior executives, 60% of British business leaders state that they don’t have an environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) strategy with key targets for their organisation in place.

With ESG an important responsibility for businesses to invest in, and a topic that is currently experiencing an increase in search volume, business software firm, Advanced, suggests that technology will pave the way for businesses to better manage these strategies and ESG objectives

Insights from the company’s new survey support this, indicating that businesses are already starting to invest in technology to help manage their ESG priorities, with many showing great progress: 

  • 47% of business leaders are using cloud-based systems to support their organisation’s ESG initiatives.
  • 46% have invested in technology to help reduce waste as a business.
  • 45% already use carbon footprint monitoring and/or impact measurement technology.
  • 34% are utilising technology for sustainable supplier management.

This implies that organisations do understand that they must have rigorous procedures for measuring, monitoring and reporting on their carbon footprint in place. With AI’s 2023 boom, it is interesting to note that while 42% of business leaders state that their organisations are investing in sustainability, 54% are investing in AI. These two could actually work hand-in-hand, with the possibility of AI, in itself, becoming a driver and enabler of lower emissions and reduced carbon footprint for businesses.

Commenting on this, Advanced CEO, Simon Walsh, said: “Powerful technologies including automation and AI can help organisations implement ESG procedures.

“Technology has already enabled remote and hybrid working, resulting in fewer commuter hours and reduced fuel consumption for work-related travel, and is helping domestic and business premises manage their energy use more efficiently. AI algorithms can enhance these technologies further, driving down use and cost, and helping reduce carbon emissions.”

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It is only a matter of time before such procedures become mandated by the government. Sadly, this is also at the forefront of business leaders’ minds, with 62% of those surveyed claiming that their drive is to ensure they are compliant with the latest legislation, while only 47% say it is to make a positive impact on the community.

However, the report also shows that despite not having a clear strategy in place, 37% of business leaders are still prioritising ESG where possible. The top priorities currently being invested in include, educating staff and customers (54%), reviewing premises requirements (44%) and reviewing travel requirements (41%). Meanwhile, over a third are working on switching to a green energy provider (38%) and working with suppliers to reduce usage (37%).

Now in its eighth year, Advanced’s 2023/24 report canvassed insights from its largest ever sample size. Readers can download the full report from the company’s website.